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Seniors Rising to the Top (Part 1)--Upperclassmen Anticipate What's to Come

By Sarah Rafael--Eagle Staff Writer

As the class of 2023 enters their last year of high school, many seem to be taken aback by the fact that they are the last group on campus who faced COVID shutdowns firsthand as high schoolers. They’ve experienced “normal school,” virtual learning, mask mandates, and now post-pandemic changes, all in the blink of an eye.

Raven Smith ready for senior year. (Courtesy Photo).

With all the interruptions of the past few years, many seniors feel like their final year of high school is more like the first year in many ways.

“I feel like because of Covid I still feel like I’m a freshman. I feel like we weren't able to get our exams and then actually become sophomores and juniors, so this is like our first full year of school,” stated senior Raven Smith.

She isn't alone in her thoughts.

“I feel like especially for us seniors since we basically lost 2 years of high school that it's our experience right now and making more memories because we lost like two years of memories," senior Landen Akers added.

There are also fears about the transition to college due to this shortened high school career.

“I feel like my transition to college is going to be like a big punch in the face, like it will be a really big transition and I am not going to be ready for it but I think it's what everyone goes through,” Akers elaborated.

Back when he was a freshman, senior Jack David saw his future as one big question mark, but now has slightly more clarity.

“I guess back in ninth grade I never really thought about what I would be like in the future. I was hoping, however, that I'd be enjoying myself, which I am,” David explained. “After high school, I'm doing something in the medical field; I'm still not sure what."

Senior year provides a chance to reflect on relationship changes, too. Some relationships have stayed the same.

“I’m surprised that my friends are still the same, like I have been with the same people I am now as I was in 8th grade and so I am happy that we're still kicking,” Smith revealed.

Others have seen friends drift away.

Senior Landen Akers is ready for whatever's next. (Courtesy Photo).

“I don't think I have any of the same friends I did in freshman year… I kind of narrowed it down to a really good friend group. It’s just that freshman year was a lot of not good friends.”

After all the obstacles the seniors faced, they still managed to pull through while learning many lessons and gaining a couple of regrets, which they passed on to help younger classes.

“Definitely have a good freshman year…I know a lot of people want to focus on making friends for their freshman year. I don’t think that’s the year to do it. Definitely make a few friends in classes and such, but really focus on your grades because your freshman year is really going to depend on it,” Akers advised.

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